Hannah reaches out to Israel - 2007
Our own dear Hannah Baumhover is off on a trip to Israel - reaching out to Jewish people through drama during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Along with her friend Wendy, Hannah is performing an original play based on the book of Ruth. Here's the updates from Hannah as they come in.
October 13, 2007
So I wanted to update you one last time...and I did, and it was long and detailed, and then the internet connection at the Ben Gurion Airport kicked me off right as I pushed send and your beautiful update floated into never never land...
So I will attempt to do something I am no good at...I will try to be brief:
I fly home in about six hours...the last two days have been a time of ministering in some of the most persecuted areas in Israel. Friday morning we performed in Beth Lechem (Jesus' birth place now an Arab village). The Israeli government had to put a wall around the town because the Palestinian attacks were so bad. We had to show our passports and enter through a lot of wire and a concrete wall...Israeli citizens are not even allowed inside. We performed at a church that has existed, in one form or another for 35 years in Beth Lechem- this is a miracle in and of itself! Please pray for the strength and protection of this church and its leaders. Please also pray for the new Arab believers there- who are so persecuted they flee the city and/or country often before they can be grounded in God's word.
Today we performed in Qiryat Shemona- here the pastor, Tony, asked us to pray against the idols they are excavating and reproducing in the north- around Dan and Mt. Hermon. These ancient relics are evil and the spirits surrounding them are evil and the Israeli government is only concerned with boosting tourism in the area. There is no concept of the spiritual significance involved in reproducing what they believe to be the golden calf. Tony said they do prayer walks along the northern border (Qiryat Shemona borders Lebanon and you can see Hezbollah bases from the town). He reminded us that Jeremiah warned that evil would come from the north- it has, does, and will...we need to pray against it. He also asked us to pray against abortion in Israel. There are 150 of them a day here. Tony shared that the Lord has spoken very clearly to Him that this abomination had to be stopped in His land before He could release the totality of the blessing & revelation He has for His people. Please pray against abortion in God's holy land, meant as an example for the nations...
We stayed at a kibbutz last night (agricultural cooperative community) - it was gorgeous! Qiryat Shemona is in the mountains and the views were spectacular. Our hosts, Duron and Shirley and their little girl Hadas (flower in Hebrew) showed us around this morning. Duron is on the volunteer border patrol, and so we received a very detailed account of the bloody history and current problems between Qiryat shemona and Lebanon. Please pray for Duron, Shirley, and Hadas and the other believers in Qiryat Shemona, that the Lord would continue to be their strength and protection, and that He would continue to use them powerfully to draw others to Him. Pray for their encouragement and for God's provision for Duron & Shirley to have a home of their own where they could continue and expand the ministries the Lord has given them.
Hah! That's "brief" for me- sorry...OK! I think that's the last one! See most of you Wednesday or Thursday nights, and ladies, Naomi and I will see you come Friday! Thank you again for all of your support- your prayers have walked with me every step of this trip. I couldn't have been here without you guys! See you soon!
With All My Love in Yeshua,
October 11, 2007
Wendy and I are back in Jerusalem for the night because we perform in Beth Lechem tomorrow, so I am taking advantage of the internet while we have it. I don't know what the internet situation will be after tonight, so it may be that I see most of you in California soon (I will do my best to email again before we head home on Sunday)!
After the performance in Beth Lechem tomorrow we will head north to Kiryat Shmona (almost bordering Lebanon). Beth Lechem is an Arab community and the church we are going to is a group of Arab believers that really need encouragement. Please pray that the Lord would use our show to bless them, encourage them, and exhort them. Yesterday we went to the Sea of Galilee and had a fabulous day of adventure. We went to the Jordan and baptized ourselves into the service the Lord is calling us to in His land. We went swimming in the Sea of Galilee, and from the waves I could imagine what that storm that shook the disciples' faith must have looked like...
Last night we performed Derek HaAhava at En Gev, right on the Galilee. Wendy was supposed to do My Son the Messiah, but a couple of 37 years was renewing their marriage vows, so we felt Ruth & Naomi was more appropriate. Today we visited friends in Poriyya, Haifa, and Netanya. Everywhere we've gone on this trip the Lord is making connections - we realize we know the same people and information is exchanged- it's been lovely and very exciting. The Lord is definitely continuing His plan for this play, and also future projects. I really see that the Lord is moving through the arts in Israel. It is a powerful tool in witnessing to Israelis, because the arts appeal to the heart and have the power, by God's Spirit, to soften stubborn Israeli hearts and open their ears.
Tonight we performed at Jacob Damkani's ministry, Trumpet of Salvation to Israel in Tel Aviv. They loved the show and invited us to perform for them during Shavuot (the feast of first fruits in the spring) when they open their new facility. They were very supportive and excited about our work and Jacob wants to keep in touch with us. He wants us to come back with the show in Hebrew. Learning our show in Hebrew is really on my heart, as is returning to Israel at Shavuot to perform it. Shavuot could be a wonderful time of opportunity for us to reach out to the orthodox Jewish community as the feast of first fruits is when they read the book of Ruth in the synagogues, and also when the actual story takes place. Please be praying for me to have ears to hear God's plan, for His provision, and guidance in this season.
While I had a chance I wanted to update my brothers and sisters. Thank you again and again for your support - your love and prayers during this trip. I am so lucky to have you for a family! May God bless each one of you abundantly this weekend and this coming week!
With all My Love in Yeshua,
October 9, 2007
Hello Brothers & Sisters:
I wanted to send an update before we head north, because after we leave for the Sea of Galilee tomorrow morning I don't know what my access to the Internet will look like. Hopefully Thursday night after our show in Tel Aviv I can send an email, as we'll come back to stay here with Mich'ael & Annick to be close to Beth Lechem for Friday's performance. Thank you for your prayers for our Beth Lechem performance. The Lord worked it out for us to go there to perform on Friday morning. I am excited to go to the city of Jesus' birth and bless them! Today was our last in Jerusalem. I will miss walking into the Old City. I never did get to go to the Temple Mount- it was closed most of the time we were here for Ramadan. I don't think I'll miss the wailing of the Muslim mosques though (have I been spelling that right?)...
Today I spoke with an Arab merchant, Abdula, who asked me if I believed in God, if I prayed for peace, and if I prayed for the peace of all people. His eyes were full of humility and concern. He told me about his children and the desperate need for peace in Israel. He wants his kids to grow up in a peaceful country. I told him I did pray for the peace of all people, and he said, "Please don't stop." I left praying for the peace of his soul in Yeshua...I know his prayers are sincere but he prays to Allah...please pray for Abdula and his family to know the Truth in Yeshua.
Yesterday I spent the day on a moshav (agricultural community) outside of Bet Shemesh. I visited a relative of one of my grandmother's friends. They are orthodox and live way out in the country. I just hung out with Nancy and the kids (her husband Danni owns a bakery and was working overtime). They have five kids, the oldest is 14 and the youngest is almost 3 years old. Their house was messy to Nancy but clean compared to what I remember growing up :-) I was amazed at the similarities between their family and my own. Nancy especially sincerely desires to know God, and she has definitely studied the Torah, but she also values what Rabbis and Jewish sages have said and religion gets in the way. We need to pray that their entire family would come to know Yeshua Ha'mashiach and experience the complete fullness of their relationship with God. Their little girl Teyilah (te-ee-la - means praise in Hebrew) drew me a picture which I treasure and am going to frame when I get home.
I think that's all from here...we participated in the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem this past Sunday (did I tell you about it?)...it was very encouraging. Orthodox leaders and Israeli government officials were thanking Christians for their support and encouraging our involvement in Israel's quest for peace. They shared how much our prayers for peace mean to them, how important they are to them. So keep praying family! Israel needs you!
I'll list our performances again below so you can keep us in prayer. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for your prayers and support during this trip. I could not be here without you in more ways than one. I am blessed to have each one of you as a part of my family.
Wednesday - Sea of Galilee - My Son the Messiah (Wendy's one-woman show about Jesus' life & ministry through Mary's eyes)
Thursday - Tel Aviv - Derek HaAhava (means the way of love in Hebrew - this is the title we decided on for our play about Ruth & Naomi)
Friday- Beth Lechem - Derek HaAhava
Saturday - Kiryat Shmona - both shows
Sunday - Coming Home!
See you soon!
With All My Love in Yeshua,
October 7, 2007
Dear Family, My Brothers, Sisters, and Friends,
Our time here in Israel is half-way through and it has been an amazing journey, with adventures still to come. We are still staying in Jerusalem through Tuesday, but Wednesday morning we hit the road to take the plays up north to the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, and Kiryat Shmona. This past Friday was our maiden voyage of our play about Ruth & Naomi, which we have decided to call Derek HaAhava (this means the way of love in Hebrew). We performed on the top of the Mount of Olives at Kate & Tom Hess's house. They run the International House of Prayer, a 24 hour intercession ministry on the top of the Mount of Olives. We performed after a Shabbat meal and a time of worship. Their backyard had an amazing view of Jerusalem. It was dark, and pretty chilly outside, and because of Ramadan (Arabic holiday) the mosques blared through our entire performance. However, the Lord used our performance to bless and refresh the workers at the International House of Prayer. One woman, Brenda, came up to us afterward with tears in her eyes to tell us that she recently lost her son, and then found out her daughter would soon be having a son, so the parallels between her life and the book of Ruth were overwhelming her. Her son, Thomas Nathan, left his house in the UK to be a house of prayer, and she is in Jerusalem training to run a 24 hour house of prayer. She wants to call it Nathan's House. Please pray for Brenda and her daughter, that God would comfort them, bless the new baby, and guide the formation of Nathan's house. Yesterday we drove south to Arad (near Beersheva down by the Dead Sea). We performed for a small congregation that meets in someone's house (very book of Acts). The Jewish anti-missionaries were sitting outside when we pulled up, but they were peaceful and one was engaged in conversation with one of the members of the congregation (she spoke peacefully with him for 45 minutes- praise the Lord!) We attended the church service, ate a Shabbat meal with them, and then performed the play. The service was in Hebrew so a kind young man sat in the back with us and translated it into English for us. Because of the way the Lord is calling His people back from all over the world, the service was simultaneously being translated into English, Russian, and Arabic. Pretty cool! When we performed the play one of the pastors translated it into Hebrew as we went. This was a new experience for me. It was very different, a bit challenging, and very exciting. Language barrier or no, God blessed both us and His people through our play yesterday. After both performances we have had people coming forward in tears to thank us for the play. The Lord has been using His living word, through our performances, to deeply move and touch hearts. One woman said she had just started reading a modern novel based on the book of Ruth the night before, and she didn't know about the performance of the play ahead of time. She said, through tears, "I think the Lord must be trying to tell me something." How awesome and intricate and intimate is our God! He is so amazing! Today we are going to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. We are leaving for this gathering (which will be televised through God TV to 192 nations) in about ten minutes. The gathering place for this event is less than a five minute walk from where we're staying. God is good! Tomorrow we are still in Jerusalem, but Wednesday we begin to explore northern Israel, as Wendy performs My Son the Messiah at the Sea of Galilee, and then we perform Derek HaAhava in Tel Aviv on Thursday, and finally head up to Kiryat Shmona for our final performance before we head home. We may be performing in Beth Lechem somewhere in there- pray for the opportunity and God's perfect timing. They wanted to have us yesterday, but we were already booked. Please also pray for the strengthening and protection of the small congregation we performed at yesterday. There was so much of God's Spirit and love there. They have received death threats from a local orthodox Rabbi. Please keep them in prayer. Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Keep lifting our performances up- that they would be full of Him and not of us.
I love you guys!
October 5, 2007
Hello Brothers & Sisters & Friends!
It's me again. I just wanted to send some of those promised pictures your way.
The first one is of me along the coastline in Tel Aviv this past Monday. The second one is Wendy and I at the City of David. We went there for a beautiful concert the other night. The third one is of Wendy and I at the Garden of Gethsemane and the last one is Wendy overlooking the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives. We climbed the Mount of Olives yesterday and the view of the city from there was spectacular.
Thanks again for all your prayers, love, and support.
With Love in Yeshua,
October 5, 2007
Hello Dear Brothers & Sisters!
Thank you for your prayers! The Lord is doing amazing things! Ma'Oz, the Messianic publisher we met with in Tel Aviv, wants to publish Wendy's messianic children's book when it is finished. They will help her translate it into Hebrew and Russian for distribution in Israel. Dugit, the other messianic organization, may be able to help in the free distribution of the book. This is all about a year down the line, but be praying for the Lord to continue to guide Wendy and provide for the completion, publication, and distribution of this book. It would share the story of Yeshua's arrival to earth, the fulfillment of the Jewish prophecies, with many Jewish people, young and old.
After I wrote you my last update we were able to meet with Jacob Damkani's ministry, Trumpet of Salvation to Israel, and they invited us to do the play at their facility in Old Jaffa next Thursday October 11th. We are so excited! They made us a beautiful flyer we are hoping to pass out here in Jerusalem and they will be passing flyer out on the streets as part of their next street evangelism campaign. We have the potential to have a huge crowd there next week. Praise God! Please pray many unbelieving Jews would come and the play would stir questions in their hearts.
One of our hosts here in Jerusalem is a French woman named Annick who dances for the Lord. She shared with us yesterday that the character of Naomi in the play represented the Jewish people to her, and Ruth the gentile nations. Ruth, the nations, helps Naomi, the Jewish people to return to her homeland, and then the gentile nations become the bride of the Lord, represented by Boaz. It was a beautiful explanation of the metaphor God has put in the Book of Ruth and in this play, and the coolest thing about it is that this very thing is happening today. Jews from all over the world are returning home to the land of Israel, and the nations are coming alongside Israel to support her. In this support lies the blessing for us both.
Today we will perform Ruth & Naomi at Tom Hess's International House of Prayer on the Mount of Olives here in Jerusalem. It's our first official performance. Tomorrow we head down to Beersheva to perform at a congregation down there. Please pray for our protection and that we would be a refreshing breath to the people down there, as Jewish anti-missionary activity down there is intense.
Below I am listing our performance schedule so you can keep us in prayer (remember we are nine hours ahead):
Friday, October 5th, Tom Hess's International House of Prayer, Ruth and Naomi play
Saturday,October 6th, congregation in Arad for Shabbat, Ruth and Naomi play
Either Sat. evening or Sunday morning we may be doing Ruth & Naomi for a women's group in Beth Lechem!!! How cool is that!?
Tuesday, October 9th, performance in Jerusalem at a local congregation, My Son the Messiah
Wednesday, October 10th, performance at the Sea of Galilee, Ruth and Naomi
Thursday, October 11th, performance at Yaacov Damkani in Tel Aviv, Ruth and Naomi
Saturday, October 13th, performance in Kiryat Shmona,both Ruth and Naomi and the first act of My Son the Messiah.
In between, we are praying to be able to visit with some friends as well.
We leave Israel on the 14th....
I also want to quickly list some prayer requests for individuals the Lord has put in our path the last couple of days:
Jason- a young Jewish man from South Africa here with a secular Jewish youth group doing service. A beautiful heart for his people, pray the Lord would open the eyes of his heart to His truth in Yeshua.
Ashraf- a young Arab merchant whose grandfather hid Jewish families from the Arab massacre of Hebron in 1967. His heart is to write a book about how Arabs, Jews, and Christians can live in peace. Pray he'd write his book about Yeshua!
Mich'ael & Svee- and older Jewish man and his son. Mich'ael served in both the American and Israeli armies. He came to Israel in 1971 and now his son is training in the IDF paratroopers. Please pray for the Lord's protection over Svee and that their entire family might come to have peace in their hearts through Yeshua.
Please also pray for a brother named Bill, who just made Aliyah only to lose his wife. he is an older man with teenage children. Pray for the Lord's encouragement, comfort, and provision.
Thank you all for your prayers and support! May God richly bless you for your intercession. It means so much to know you are supporting me.
May God bless you this week!
With All My Love in Yeshua,
October 2, 2007
Hello Again Brothers & Sisters,
Someone informed me it was time for another update. I'll try to keep this one shorter. I can't be as cool as Rich with an update every day because I don't have a Blackberry and I am never sure of my access to a computer and the Internet. But here goes...
So yesterday morning (Monday our time - remember we are nine hours ahead) Wendy and I got on a bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. We fumbled our way through buses in Tel Aviv to meet with Ma'Oz, a Messianic Jewish publisher (a Messianic Jew believes Jesus or Yeshua is the Messiah, but worships him in a Jewish way). Wendy is working on a Messianic children's book that tells the story of baby Yeshua. They were interested in publishing the book and interested in our play. They believe we should get it translated into Hebrew and learn it so we can visit their congregation here in Tel Aviv some time in the near future and perform it in Hebrew for their congregation (their congregation went to Hebrew only prayer & worship etc. because too many new believers left the church or fell away because too much was in English and not their own language). Pray for the Lord's continued guidance and favor both for Wendy's book and for our play. I think the Lord has big plans for both, not only now but in the future as well.
We also met with Dugit, another Messianic congregation and publisher here in Israel. They are currently hosting an event in Jerusalem for the youth during Sukkot. Please pray that they would reach many hungry young Israeli men & women. The event if through October 3rd.
After the meetings we wandered through a colorful artist's marketplace and Wendy was able to share the gospel with some very open Jewish brothers and sisters. Please pray for Liana and Itai, that they would come to know healing and forgiveness and unspeakable joy in Yeshua. Itai had read the new testament, but believed them to be written not by God, but by Yeshua's disciples. Yeshua to him was a good man, but too young to be a rabbi and definitely not God.
After the marketplace we headed down to the beach to sit and rest from the hustle and bustle and spend some time with the Lord. Around 6:30pm last night we made our way to Tali's house for a night of incredible worship, almost entirely in Hebrew. The Lord had me praying for Ishmael all of yesterday. I was weeping for them during worship and couldn't stop asking the Lord to open their eyes and remove the deceit of the enemy in their lives. Pray the Lord would save all of Ishmael and reconcile them with their Jewish brothers and sisters in Yeshua.
Today we are leaving for the flea market and to meet with Jacob Damkani's ministry here in Tel Aviv called Trumpet of Salvation to Israel. This meeting seems very important to me in my heart. Please be praying for God's guidance and ears to hear Him.
No pictures this time but
when we get back to Jerusalem I will send some more. Please also be praying for
our health. Wendy and I are both basically sick with colds (runny nose, sore
throat, cough etc). Pray God would heal us and it
wouldn't interfere with our upcoming performances. We are performing this
Friday, Saturday, Tuesday the 9th, Wednesday the 10th and Saturday the 13th.
Please pray for the Lord's anointing- that we would refresh believers and draw non-believers to Him.
With All My Love in Yeshua,
September 30, 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am here in Jerusalem and the Lord has blessed my socks off so far! My friend Wendy and I arrived Friday morning (we are nine hours ahead of California time, so Thursday night for you). Friday we explored Jerusalem and made our own path into the Old City from the apartment where we are staying with some of Wendy's friends. We got a little lost and ended up in a poor Arab village called Abu Tor. We prayed for their salvation as we walked through the streets and came out the other side to Mount Zion and the Lord led us into His holy city by way of the Zion gate. We wandered a bit around an orthodox Jewish community and found ourselves by the Jaffa (yafe is Hebrew for beautiful) gate and the Tower of David. We made our way home to go to a 24 hour prayer and worship house Suchat Hallel, just a ten minute walk from where we're staying. We went to worship and to support Mich'ael, Wendy's friend, a musician that God has anointed to reach the orthodox community through his Jewish worship and praise of Yeshua. That night we had Shabbat dinner together. Yesterday we rehearsed our play on the roof of the apartment where we're staying. The apartment faces the Old City walls and you can see Jerusalem clearly. Later we explored and went to the Wall. We prayed for the orthodox that cry out to God believing He hears them and do not know that the wall is in their hearts and can only be removed by Yeshua. They so honestly desire a relationship with God that they cling to the Wall thinking it is as close as they can get to him. Please pray for them that God will open the eyes of their hearts and give them ears to hear Him knocking to come in! Last night we went to the International Christian Zionist meeting and heard a message calling Gentile believers to stand and claim Israel's land for Judah, both with our physical presence and with our prayers. I pray God's people would do so in power! We are about to perform our play for a woman who is very connected with many ministries in Israel. Pray that the Lord would open doors through her for both Wendy and I. Tomorrow we will go to Tel Aviv and perform for some of Wendy's friends at a worship meeting there. Wendy will also meet publishers about a messianic book for children she is working on. Please pray for favor with the publishers. I was able to share the gospel with a young Jewish man on the plane from London to Tel Aviv. Please pray that the Lord would open the eyes of his heart. His name is Omer and he is finishing up his degree right now. He served in the army and I could see the pain as he told of having to order others to kill. Please pray that he would find life and healing in Yeshua.
I am amazed to be in God's chosen land and amongst His chosen people. Please pray for God's anointing in everything we do. We need ears to hear His voice and eyes to see what He has for us everyday. I don't want to miss a thing that the Lord has prepared!
Thank you for your prayers and support! I will send updates as often as I can. Attached are a few pictures from Friday and Saturday.
With All My Love In Yeshua,